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Lendon Murrell

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Lucy Forest







Lucy looked at Mission almost like it was her last. Trepidation swirled and made her steps back toward the open land out of focus. Lucy was in fit condition for her age but now under her clothes was a slick sheen of fear not exertion. She planned to get far enough out to see if the woman was still on the ground. If she was she would have to plan what to do. Nothing about Lucy would let a woman lay unconscious on the ground and nothing about Lucy wanted her to make one more step. The day that had started so sweet. The sun made her feel boldly exposed. The wind caressed and chilled her. In her mind Lucy felt she could drop into the grass at anytime if she needed cover. Needed cover. Like she was back in the military. A few more steps she would clear the angle of the trees around the farmhouse that prevented her from seeing the drive. What she could see was empty. No activity. The willows close to the house waved softly. One house window was open toward her direction. No sounds. No longer fighting?

That was approximately where she had seen them and it was empty. Three seconds, four, five – ten, eleven, twelve, nothing. The woman must have gotten up. Not her business right? Lucy let herself retreat quietly and quickly back to Mission. She untied him and let him go. He took the signal of her direction of travel and started back on the trail they had followed before. Lucy wasn’t tense but she was very quiet and Mission knew he would be quiet too and watchful. Lucy wasn’t thinking anything just moving, feeling her movement, watching Mission ahead of her, and letting the forest enclose her. At the creek Mission crossed and waited. Lucy stopped in the middle and bent down washed her face, her arms and the back of neck. Getting her clothes wet was of no concern she was a practical person. She stepped up the opposite bank and continued to follow the angle of the hill until she reached the area she used to head up and over the top. She did look back from the top of the hill. It was senseless but she did it anyway and scanned the land behind her for any movement until she was satisfied.

Lucy reached the back yard with its familiar shape. The two of them went in the back door and Lucy took the time to lock the back door with the deadbolt. She closed the kitchen window and locked the front. Mission made for his bowl. Lucy went up the stairs. She had left her nightgown on the bed at the start of the day and she dropped her wet clothes where she stood slipped the gown on and got into her bed. Mid afternoon with bright light coming in from outside Lucy shut her eyes and closed out the world. A few minutes later Mission joined her and pressed his back against her where he could see the door and the stairs. The two were asleep and let the day slip away.

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